The importance of subspecialty in urology expert witness cases

Our experts can provide evidence in clinical negligence cases that require a urology medico-legal expert witness

Urology is a branch of medicine that diagnoses and treats any disorders and diseases relating to the urinary tract in men and women, such as the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra and the male reproductive system. 

They may subspecialise in urological cancers, andrology (male fertility and sexual health), female reconstructive urology or paediatric urology.

You can learn more about the role of a Urologist and the sub-specialist areas they practice in on our dedicated urological surgery page. 

In this blog post, we will explore the types of clinical negligence cases that might require a urology medico-legal expert witness and review the role of the expert witness in urology cases that relate to men and women. We will also look at the professional standards you would expect from a urology expert witness.

When would you need a urology expert witness?

A urology expert witness might be required if there is an allegation of clinical negligence in the following circumstances:

  • Clinical negligence due to a bladder overdistention or a delayed diagnosis.
  • Surgical errors following incontinence surgery, prostrate surgery or when administering a urethral catheter. 
  • A male might raise a clinical negligence claim following a circumcision or vasectomy.
  • A female might raise a clinical negligence claim if she sustained an injury during a gynaecology procedure, such as a hysterectomy.

A urologist might also be required to act as a personal injury medical expert following an accident or trauma. This could be from a spinal cord injury, compression of the nerves which control the bladder (cauda equina syndrome), pelvic fracture, or from an injury which has caused a testicular injury or erection problem. 

An accident might also lead to a penile or scrotal injury and can have a physical and psychological impact on a man, which is something that we discuss in this blog post: Expert witnesses in penile and scrotal injury claims.

male perosn showing surgery scar after kidney pyelonephritis. after remove kidney operation. caucasian person close up over grey background.

Case Example: Urology clinical negligence claim in men

In the case of Norman Adamson vs Highland Health Board, Adamson made a claim for damages after complications following a Bacuillus Calmette-Tuerin immunotherapy, which was an ongoing treatment for a mass that was detected in his bladder. 

Adamson claimed that the doctor and nurse departed from normal practice when he received the immunotherapy treatment. He alleges that there were occasions where the procedure was difficult to administer and that he experienced cold and flu-like symptoms following some of the immunotherapy treatments. 

When providing medical opinion for legal cases, a urology medico-legal expert witness would review the medical notes and interview the team who cared for the patient. In this case, the urologist and urology nurse were interviewed, and the expert witness confirmed that there was no causal connection with the procedure undertaken and the complications that Adamson experienced due to clinical negligence.

Adamson had received surgery to re-section his bladder prior to this particular course of treatment, which the expert witness explained would increase the risk of complications. Adamson made a full recovery within six months of the treatment, and it was ruled that the complications of re-section surgery to the bladder carries a small risk if the patient was catheterized. 

Case Example: Urology clinical negligence claim in women

Urology as a specialism also links to gynaecology and oncology because the kidneys and bladder can be impacted if a surgical error takes place. 

In this case, a woman was awarded £330,000 for a urology injury during a keyhole surgery procedure to remove an ovarian cyst. Here, the claimant settled out of court, however the Trust admitted liability early on in the claim and the damages were awarded for pain and suffering during surgery, infertility, ongoing pain, loss of earnings and psychological distress. 

Had the case been heard in court, the urology medico-legal expert witness would have given expert medical advice for lawyers alongside a gynaecology and psychiatry expert witness.

What should you look for in a Urology expert witness?  

Depending on the nature of the case, you will need an expert witness with the correct specialist training and clinical experience. When providing expert medical advice for lawyers, a medico-legal expert witness will also need to have completed the Cardiff University Bond Solon Expert Witness certificates.

Mr Nadir Osman is the urology expert witness for Expert Court Reports and works as a Consultant Urological Surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. He has a specialist interest in urinary tract reconstruction and has a busy practice in general urology.

Mr Osman is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the British Association of Urological Surgeons, the British Association of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons, and the European Association of Urology. 

Mr Osman has written over 100 articles on clinical and scientific topics related to urology, written 20 book chapters on urology and has edited two urological textbooks.

Looking for a Urological Surgery expert witness?  

To learn more about how our Urological Surgery Expert Witness assists in complex personal or medical negligence claims or defence, please call us on 01865 587865, email office@expertcourtreports.co.uk, or request a call by completing our online form. We will arrange a time for you to speak to our Obstetrician and Gynaecology Experts, who will listen to the case details and advise the best way forward.